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Quarandiary: Luis López-Levi

“Quarandiary” shows F staffers as they document their day-to-day during the pandemic. Here, staff writer Luis López-Levi shares us a glimpse into his routines, his observations, and the rare moments of joy during an uncertain time.

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  • When I’ve just had my day outside for a trip to the grocery store, but I really crave the outdoors, I’ll go out to the back porch and just hang out for a bit, especially if it’s a little chillier. Being stuck at home has made me miss that feeling when cool weather completely surrounds you.
  • The other day was the best kind of rainy day, the kind where I put on my windbreaker and rain boots and stepped in puddles. It was also the perfect day for pan dulce, so I ventured to my favorite Mexican bakery about 20 minutes away, not knowing if it was still open. To my delight, it was, and that day my self care tasted like concha and hot chocolate.
  • As sad as it is to see art galleries indefinitely closed these days, whenever I walk by one, I wonder if they chose what art to leave on the window until they reopen. I wonder if they deliberately decided to display something that brings them comfort, or if it just happened to be there before all this. In any case, it’s always nice to run into Selena.
  • Whenever I do go outside, it’s almost always during the day, which makes catching a sunset particularly rare for me these days. I miss having the sunset find me in different spots in the city, observing as it paints the skyline gold.
  • My street on the North Side has always been quiet and peaceful, with the occasional jogger or dog walker. But these days that same quiet registers very differently. The same pedestrians now cover their faces and calculate their distances. The peace has been replaced by a state of high awareness.
  • It’s genuinely frightening how easy it is to forget that there is a whole pandemic going on when the weather is warm and sunny, and the air smells like sunscreen and fresh soil.
  • Everyone has their ways to cope with the dread, and my neighbor seems to be a stress-griller. Three or four times a week he’ll throw some steaks or patties on the grill. That is literally all I know about him, but I like to imagine what’s going through his mind, if he finds a sense of pride in getting the right char on his meat. And in these days where so many of our routines have been upended, I treasure the constants in my life, and I smile whenever I catch my neighbor walking out the back door with a tray of meat cuts and a can of beer. Cheers.

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